July 23, 2016 – Researchers reported on Tuesday that cases of aggressive prostate cancer are increasing.
The good news is that it’s still unusual for prostate cancer to spread. According to the team of researchers, just 3% of cases have already started spreading when males are diagnosed. Overall, prostate cancer has not become more common.
The American Cancer Society strongly questioned all the findings as well as the methods used to get them.
The team of researchers who were looking for evidence in order to support the widespread screening of prostate cancer, found out that the cases of metastatic prostate cancer (the type of cancer that has started to spread in the human body) nearly doubled in men with an average age of 55 – 69 since year 2004. However, the reason is yet unclear.
According to Dr. Edward Schaeffer, the one who led the study and is also the chair of urology at Northwestern Medicine and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, one hypothesis is that the disease has become more and more aggressive, regardless of screening changes.
The other idea is that since screening guidelines have become more careless, when men get diagnosed, it is at a more advanced stage or level of disease. Both are probably true. Schaeffer added they do not know for sure yet it’s the focus of their current work.
In year 2012, the USPSTF or U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against using a PSA blood test called or prostate-specific antigen test to check healthy men for prostate cancer.
According to USPSTF, one should know what the science says regarding PSA screening – there are significant potential harms and there’s a relatively small potential benefit. The test found that very few males with prostate cancer that needed treatment, as well as caused men to be needlessly cured for slow growing prostate tumor, which never would’ve harmed them. Sometimes, the treatment meant side effects: impotence and incontinence.
On the other hand, the American Cancer Society shows support to this cautious method to screening and questioned Schaeffer’s research.